I will openly admit, I’ve always been a Nigella fan and I don’t care what people say. Her cookbook How to be a Domestic Goddess was one of the first books I bought for the house when we moved into it 5 years ago. It ended up igniting a passion for cooking and is one of the most used books in the house. My favourite recipes from it have to be the brownies and banana bread. The banana bread being totally fail safe and, I think, the first recipe I cooked from it. Even me, a chronic recipe fiddler, sticks very closely to her recipe as it’s so good.
Well I say I stick to the recipe, with baking recently I’ve been cutting back on sugar. As much as I love baking I surprisingly don’t have a sweet tooth. Offer me a chocolate bar of bag of crisps I will unashamedly take the crisps. I don’t like sweeteners for various reasons so prefer to use the real thing, but use less of it. With the majority of cakes you can cut back on the sugar as much as 50% without ruining the cake. Of course this won’t work with food like jam and meringues where the sugar is essential. Now I make the majority of things we eat from scratch the biggest thing I’ve noticed is how over-sweet the majority of shop-bought cakes and biscuits are. So much so I can no longer eat the once-loved chocolate digestive as I find it tooth-achingly sweet. This banana bread certainly doesn’t lose anything from the sugar being reduced as so much sweetness comes from the banana and sultanas. If anything it brings out the rich chocolate taste. One thing I will say is that the banana does have a tendency to sink to the bottom in this cake, but don’t worry as this gives it a delicious gooey fudgeyness.
Chocolate Banana Bread
based on Nigella Banana Bread recipe
75ml dark rum
150g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
125g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
4 (300g) ripe bananas, mashed
50g chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla extract
1) Place the sultanas and rum in a bowl. Cover with clingfilm and leave overnight.
2) Preheat oven to 170°c then grease or line a 2lb loaf tin.
3) Mix the melted butter and sugar together until well combined then beat in the eggs one by one followed by the mashed bananas. Stir in the chocolate chips, vanilla and sultanas
4) In a separate bowl mix together the remaining dry ingredients then carefully stir into the wet ingredients. Pour into the loaf tin and bake for 60-75 minutes, or until the cake passes the skewer test.